Current ACCA Policies and Procedures:
- Approval Procedure for Real Estate Development within Allegheny City Central
- Vacant Lot and Structure Sale Policy
- Committee Policies and Procedures
Approval Procedure for Real Estate Development Projects
Within Allegheny City Central
Ongoing real estate development activities within the boundaries of Allegheny City Central (formerly known as the Central Northside), have made it necessary for the Allegheny City Central Association (ACCA) to formalize the process of obtaining the organization’s support for development projects that affect our community.
Although this support is not required to have a project approved by the municipality or zoning authority, it is highly recommended that developers receive the support of the local Community Development Corporation to move their real estate projects forward.
To that end, the ACCA board requires that a developer that is proposing a project within the ACCA boundaries (see map below) comply with the following procedure when seeking a letter of support from the organization:
- Contact the ACCA Development Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of the project and to request time on their upcoming agenda.
- A member of the Development Committee (Dev Com) will invite the developer to meet with the committee and present the development plan. It is highly recommended that the developer provide as much information to the committee as possible, including photos, architectural renderings, site plans and any other supporting documentation.
- Dev Com will decide whether the project has merit, considering, among other things, whether the project is consistent with the recommendations outlined in the organization’s 2009 Community Master Plan.
- Dev Com will discuss the project at the next ACCA board meeting. The ACCA board will vote after considering the committee’s recommendations.
- If the board approves the project, and if the project is commercial in nature, the developer will be invited to present the project at an upcoming general membership meeting, at which time the board will recommend that the membership vote to approve it. If the membership approves the project, ACCA will write a letter of support.
- If the board approves the project, and if the project is residential in nature, the board will use their discretion as to whether to invite the developer to present the project at an upcoming general membership meeting. If an appearance before the membership is not required, ACCA will write a letter of support. If the developer is asked to present the project at an upcoming general membership meeting, the board will recommend that the membership vote to approve it. If the membership approves the project, ACCA will write a letter of support.
- If the Development Committee, the board, or the general membership rejects the project, the process ends after the decision is communicated to the developer, and no letter of support will be written.
Procedure updated April 2014
Vacant Lot and Structure Sale Policy
The Vacant Lot and Structure Sale Policy is intended to provide a consistent framework for evaluating requests to purchase City-owned and/or URA-owned property in the Allegheny City Central, when the City or URA has asked for a letter of support from Allegheny City Central Association (ACCA) regarding a proposed property transaction. This can include property in the ACCA Property Reserve, or any other property held by the City or URA.
ACCA’s vision is to fill “every vacant lot with thriving commerce and families of all types by 2015”. As such, ACCA supports and favors quality development that is consistent with the Neighborhood Plan. This Neighborhood Plan was completed in 2009 and was a grassroots process that included over twenty community meetings. The plan is available online on ACCA’s website.
ACCA’s Development Committee is the starting point for property requests. This Committee will evaluate the request against the criteria listed below and then make a recommendation to the ACCA Board of Directors. The Board will make a final determination on the request, and then the inquiring party and the City or URA will be informed of ACCA’s position.
Criteria and Evaluation Process
The criteria and questions below are meant to guide the evaluation process. While each case may involve unique circumstances, these are the basic premises that will guide ACCA’s evaluation.
- All prospective purchasers must, at a minimum, be in good standing, meaning they are current on their real estate taxes and do not have any open citations from BBI. ACCA may conduct due diligence with regard to all aspects of the prospective purchaser’s current real estate holdings and finances and ask the prospective owner to sign a statement affirming they are in good standing.
- Does the requesting party own the property immediately adjacent to the property being requested, and/or do they live adjacent to the property being requested?
- If yes, proceed to number 3.
- If no, the ACCA will then determine if there might be other better qualified and interested parties who are adjacent owners, before any sale to the first interested party proceeds.
- Is the lot or structure part of an approved ACCA development plan/strategy?
- If yes, the inquiry ends.
- If no, proceed to number 4.
- What is the proposed use of the lot or structure? Assuming the lot meets size and zoning requirements, acceptable uses include:
- a single family home for the buyer’s primary residence
- a market-rate rental property
- fully developing and then marketing the property for resale
- using the property as a side lot
- If the use is acceptable,
- does the buyer have evidence of financing?
- is the buyer willing to agree to both conform with the Historic District guidelines, and to have their plans approved by ACCA’s Development Committee?
- If yes, then ACCA will likely support as long as it conforms with objectives of the Community Plan.
- If the property will be used as a side yard:
- are they willing to agree to conform with the Historic District guidelines or review their plans (including fencing) with ACCA’s Development Committee?
- If yes, then ACCA will likely support.
For properties that are not in the ACCA Property Reserve, the city or URA will set pricing, and/or deal with multiple interested parties. If the ACCA decides to dispose of Property Reserve property independent of any development project or strategy, then the guidelines below apply.
For properties that have only one interested or qualified party, ACCA will typically charge its costs, including staff and / or consultant time attributed to the property, plus a 5% administrative fee. Parties must pay all closing costs including transfer taxes, deed preparation, and settlement fees.
For properties that have multiple interested and qualified offers ACCA will ask the parties to make written offers which will be evaluated not only on price, but also on the proposed use and capacity of the developer.
The Buyer will be required to sign documents agreeing to develop and use the property as proposed and to conform to ACCA imposed term of sale or to otherwise fulfill agreements with ACCA.
This policy may be updated from time to time by the ACCA Board of Directors. Updates to the policy will be posted at www.alleghenycitycentral.org.
Policy updated April 10, 2014
The purpose of ACCA’s committees is to advise and assist the ACCA’s Board of Directors (BOD).
This committee is not a decision-making body.
These policies and procedures have been established to help ensure that this committee is both effective and efficient in executing its responsibilities in support of the BOD.
The committee chair is appointed by the BOD. The chair appoints a vice-chair and recording secretary. The vice-chair will be responsible for running meetings that the chair is unable to attend. The recording secretary will prepare minutes of each committee meeting and distribute them electronically not fewer than five (5) days prior to the subsequent committee meeting.
The committee’s business will generally be conducted in accordance with normal parliamentary procedure.
The BOD will from time to time refer appropriate issues to committee.
The BOD need not seek the committee’s advice on every issue related to that committee. Nor will the committee necessarily be made aware of every issue related to it before it is brought before the general membership.
Committee votes are advisory only. The BOD is not bound by committee recommendations.
The committee may also advance appropriate proposals of its own, which will be referred to the BOD after passing a vote (majority of those present and voting) within the committee.
No proposal shall be presented to the committee without prior coordination through the committee chair. In addition, the BOD will reject presentation or discussion at any BOD meeting of any unsolicited proposal not already discussed and approved by the committee.
Committee Member Responsibilities
Committee members must be members in good standing of the ACCA.
Only committee members who have signed this Policies and Procedures memorandum may attend committee meetings. Non-members may attend only with the prior permission of the committee chair.
All committee work should be considered confidential unless designated otherwise by the committee chair or the BOD. Therefore, no committee member shall discuss or otherwise divulge matters under committee consideration with individuals or organizations outside the committee or BOD without specific authorization from the committee chair or the BOD.
No committee member shall either explicitly or implicitly seek to represent himself or herself as representing the ACCA without prior authorization from the BOD.
Violation of this policy may result in removal from the committee.
Policy updated May 2014